Funny how this Memorial Day, the United States is so much like a psychopath, if a country can be like a person. I’m particularly struck by:
“Because we are the very model of virtue and righteousness, our actions are always good; because our actions are always good, we are not subject to the ordinary rules that apply to all others—we are the indispensable nation. So while Russian meddling in US elections is widely seen as outrageous (and it is), US meddling in elections from Honduras to Ukraine to Cyprus to Venezuela is, if we bother even to notice, not so bad. The naked narcissism is breath-taking.”
Yep, the USA can be a ‘path or a narc. Maybe all countries are such. All corporations are. It’s only called a personality disorder when individuals show those traits.
Notice this year how the concept of patriotism has been lashed with unbreakable cords to the business of war-making. To be a true patriot, you must genuflect at the alter of war— just ask the good-hearted folks at NPR (National Pentagon Radio).
But in reality, however you start and wherever you look, patriotism is elusive, and always entangled in context—historical flow, cultural surround, political perspective. It’s a wobbly concept at best, debatable and necessarily occupying a contested space—the young students of Parkland, Florida stare over a barricade at the irascible NRA leadership, each claiming the shiny mantle of patriotism; National Football League team owners lock out Colin Kaepernick, and decree (in the name of patriotism) that players must stand respectfully during the playing of the National Anthem, mistaking a forced display of patriotism for the thing itself rather than what it actually is: a long-standing hallmark of authoritarianism and…